Electrifying new BMW

X1 compact SUV

BMW X1, 2022, front, action
BMW X1, 2022, nose
BMW X1, 2022, side
BMW X1, 2022, side, action
BMW X1, 2022, rear
BMW X1, 2022, tail
BMW X1, 2022, interior
BMW X1, 2022, display screen
BMW X1, 2022, centre console
BMW X1, 2022, rear seats
BMW X1, 2022, boot
BMW X1, 2022, badge
BMW iX1 prototype, 2022, front
BMW iX1 prototype, 2022, display screen
BMW iX1 prototype, 2022, interior

BMW has a new X1 compact SUV and for the first time it is available with all major powertrains - including an all-electric model.

The iX1 - as the electric version is called - will be joining petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid versions when it arrives early next year.

The seven model line up is priced from £33,775 for the two-wheel-drive sDrive20i with a 170hp three-cylinder petrol engine, £34,845 for diesel versions, £41,300 for the PHEVs and £52,255 for the battery powered iX1 xDrive30.

All are automatic and with the exception of the entry-level model are four-wheel-drive with Sport, xLine and M Sport specifications available.

We have just sampled the new X1 in mild-hybrid xDrive23i xLine trim and also grabbed a drive in a prototype version of the iX1.

As such, the xDrvie23i was priced from £46,385 - up from its base price of £38,190 - and with its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine developing 218hp performance is impressive for a car of this ilk with a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 7.1 seconds and a maximum of 145mph.

Officially it is rated at 42.8mpg at best with emissions of 148g/km and that proved to be a conservative figure with us managing to achieve 46.6 to the gallon on our drive according to the trip computer.

The new X1 is bigger than its predecessor with length increased by 53mm to 4.5 metres, width by 24mm to 1.845 metres and its height by 44mm to 1.642 metres. The wheelbase is also 22mm longer at 2.682 metres.

On the road it feels well planted and nicely predictable while the power delivery is nicely sporty for an SUV.

LED headlights are now standard across the range while a larger BMW kidney grille with its chrome surrounds and active intake system dominates the front end giving the car a very purposeful poise.

Options included a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded 205 Watt hi-fi and sliding rear seats which added to the flexibility of the 540 litre boot that's larger than most competitors.

With the rear seats down you can stretch luggage capacity to 1,600 litres.

Cargo space is not quite as generous in the iX1 at some 490 litres - and neither is towing capacity which is down from two tonnes with the combustion engined model to 1.2 tonnes for the EV.

Both have up-to-the-minute interior designs and feature BMW's new Curved Display instrumentation which sees two display screens merging as one with a 10.25-inch information screen and a 10.7inch control panel.

There's also a ‘floating' armrest which includes storage space below a centre console which houses drive mode and other controls ahead of cupholders and the car's wireless mobile phone charger.

It's a clean-cut set up and gives the interior a functional and high-tech look that sets the new X1 apart.

The all-electric iX1 has a range of up to 270 miles on a full charge which can be done from empty in 6.5 hours from a standard charging point or less than four hours from an optional quicker charger.

Recharging to 80 per cent capacity takes 29 minutes from a DC charger or 75 miles additional range can be added in just 10 minutes.

The electric motors in the iX1 develops the equivalent of 313hp giving it a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 5.7 seconds - the quickest of all models in the new line-up. Maximum speed is 112mph.

Adaptive suspension similar to that used on the M Sport versions is fitted to the iX1 and it delivers a commandingly sporty drive with pin-sharp handling aided by a boost setting which engages maximum performance briefly via a pull on the left side paddle shifter.

Recharging is done from a point on the rear off-side - the same place as the fuel flap on combustion engined versions and another user-friendly feature of the iX1.

An electronic sound system - which can be configured to reflect your driving preference - adds to the fun and feel of the car and the navigation system on the iX1 uses smart technology to give an optimised route if the vehicle's range is insufficient to reach the entered destination.

It all adds up to a very complete package that puts the iX1 at the top of the tree when it comes to compact electric SUVs at the moment.

In every way the new X1 range is head and shoulders above its two predecessors which have notched up some 119,000 sales in the UK since the first models arrived in 2009.

BMW estimates that some 80 per cent on the new line-up will be purely electric once the iX1 comes on stream early in the UK in 2023.

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